It started as a simple job – replace the cracked headlamp. But ended up as a front end twin headlamp conversion. And wow am I pleased with it.
There is so much I love about the timeless lines of the Cerbera, it truly is a piece of art that has stood the test of time (well almost).
For me, there has always been one big let down, and that is the front headlamps.
While the rest of the car looks like it could have been designed tomorrow, those front headlamps look like they are stuck in a 60s time-warp – something borrowed from an old MG.
Purists may argue that it is a sin to chop up a classic car and undertake major cosmetic modifications; and I would agree with the spirit of that, apart from a couple of caveats.
- If the changes you are making are in keeping with factory options, then that is fine in my book.
- If the changes you are making genuinely practically enhance the car, that is fine too.
On my list of “future things” was a twin headlamp conversion. It’s not an inexpensive job to have done, so I figured I would probably get round to it next year…
So March was approaching, MOT and service time was coming up; just as I was about to book into my local TVR service centre, this happened:
Coasting up to a junction, the car in front kicked up a stone and smashed the headlamp. Ugh.
No problem I thought, how hard can it be to replace the glass.
yeah… so it turns out that not only does the headlamp design come from the 60s, the engineering comes from circa 1860s.
So to replace the headlamp glass, you need to do the following:
- Remove front wheel
- Remove inspection panels in wheel arch
- Insert child-size hands into too small a hole and blindly feel around for some wing-nuts
- Cut wrists to pieces on rough fibreglass edges
- Push the headlamp pod out
- Then remove black mastic to unseat the glass
- Put it all back together and goo up the pod with all this nasty black mastic
You get the idea. It’s just stupid. It looks dated and it is dated. Time to bring forward my future plans..
So I did some research, and found quite a few options.
Top left, is what I have now. It’s what all the Mk1 Cerberas had.
Later during the evolution of the Cerbera including into the Mk2, you can see the factory-option lights evolve to 3 lights in a pod, then 3 lights but the pod blended in.
The little 3rd light that acts as a side-light, seemed somewhat redundant, as the same function can be achieved with using one of the twins. I also think the absence of the 3rd light gives it a cleaner look.
But it’s personal opinion. If you ask 3 people you will get at least 4 opinions.
On the bottom row of that block you will see a few very custom options, these I don’t believe were factory options, and include enclosed twin lights, enclosed single light and 4 lights.
A few phone calls later, and I ended up speaking with Adrian at Central TVR. What a fantastic chap.
A twin headlamp conversion minus the 3rd little light, complete with a front-end respray was booked in.
For me it was a no-brainer. The change would be in keeping with my variant of Cerbera, and it would certainly update the look from 60s to current.
The twin headlamps would be all LED and crisp white instead of the yellow candles that the old headlamps delivered.
The conversion would require fibre-glassing new pods in, but without any “joins” further enhancing the flowing lines. And as a bonus it gets a front-end repaint to cover up the handful of inevitable stone chips I had picked up.
The results are nothing short of stunning.